How To Remove Old Water Stains From Wood Floors

Sep 11, 2021 | Wood | 0 comments

wood flooring water stains how to remove

How To Remove Old Water Stains From Wood Floors

Stains can be categorised into two types:

  • white
  • black

White stains tend to harm only the finish of the wood whereas black stains can penetrate deeply.

It’s important to understand the difference between these two types of stains as it will directly affect the methods we use to remove them from our flooring.

First, let’s learn about each type of water stain and how we might be able to overcome them.

White Stains

Generally, these types of stains effect new wood flooring with lacquered finishes while older oil floors tend not to have these types of stains.

Black Stains

You have probably seen these types of stains before: dark and visible, they give the impression the wood has been burned.

As this type of stain has affected multiple layers of the wood, it requires a more effective solution to remove it.

Now we have identified the kind of water stains we must deal with, we will discuss how we might go about removing them.

How To Remove White Stains From Wood

The difficulty with removing these types of stains is understanding the effect of the finish and the stain producing liquid that has fallen on it.

Here are some methods for removing white stains:

Mineral oil

Apply using a cloth and wait several minutes before repeating the process.

Within 24 hours, the stains should be gone.

Mineral spirits

When mineral oil fails to clear up the stain, it’s time to up the ante and use mineral spirits.

They penetrate the finish deeper than oils but can have a surprisingly effective effect.

Please leave for a full 24 hours to see maximum results.

Baking soda and water paste

Once again, this process will take 24 hours.

Mix the baking soda and water into a thick paste and apply to the stain.

If any of the methods mentioned above fail to work, there are others that may do the job.

They include:

  • Ironing the floor with a towel in between
  • Heat up the stain with a hairdryer
  • Mix mayonnaise, toothpaste, and salt, and cooking oil

How To Remove Black Stains From Wood

In order to get at the stain buried within the wood, we are going to have to remove the finish layer first.


Remove the finish layer by sending it down.

If the black stain is only superficial, this may actually be enough to remove the stain completely.

For a few tips on how to apply the sandpaper, simply rub in the direction of the grain.

Once you are done, apply several layers of wax, lacquer, varnish, or whatever other finish was applied to the wood in the first place so it meshes in with the rest of the floor.


This is the absolute final option!

If the black stain is too deep to be solved by sanding, add a thin layer of chlorine bleach directly onto the stain.

This can help to lighten the colour of the stain, making it less noticeable.

Please note, the process can take several hours to complete.

Ensure to blot with a damp sponge afterwards.

Now add a thin coat of vinegar and remove with the damp sponge.

Once again, as per with the white stain cleaning method, ensure to apply whatever the finish was used on the rest of the floor so it meshes in well.

Attempting to rid your floor of stains yourself can sometimes be a fool’s errand.

The damage is just too deep.

Sometimes, you need to replace part of your floor and that’s where we come in.

Broadloom has over 20 years of experience with installing floors and we’re just a phone call away for all your flooring needs.

Call us for a free consultation or check out our services page for more information.

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